I am a French national and I have done 2 consecutive J1 stays (1 year each). The first one was fine, and during the 2nd one I overstayed for about 1 month.

Now, 2 years later, I want to go back to the US as a tourist for 2 weeks. I've applied for an ESTA and it was approved (this is the first time I will use an ESTA to go to the US).

Will I be automatically denied entry at the border or will I be able to do my 2-week vacation? (I will attend a friend's wedding).

Response to comments

  • Yes, I overstayed (1 month after the grace period).
  • My online record (if you are talking about https://i94.cbp.dhs.gov) shows correctly the dates but does not indicate anywhere on the website that I have overstayed (no 'OVERSTAY' button or anything).
  • 1
    Does your online record say you overstayed? Aug 23, 2018 at 10:00
  • 1
    Did you actually overstay or just make use of the J1 grace period?
    – DCTLib
    Aug 23, 2018 at 10:04
  • 1
    @Newton I don't think mods can do this any more, the OP needs to contact site services via the "contact" link at the bottom of each page. Account merging is specifically listed as a contact reason there.
    – MadHatter
    Aug 23, 2018 at 12:13
  • 1
    Were you asked a question on your ESTA application about whether you overstayed?
    – user102008
    Aug 23, 2018 at 14:41
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    @user102008 The exact wording of the question appears to be “Have you ever stayed in the United States longer than the admission period granted to you by the U.S. government?” Maxmax: did you answer yes to this question when you applied for your ESTA?
    – phoog
    Aug 23, 2018 at 18:14

1 Answer 1


Will I be automatically denied the entry at the border

Yes immediately, that is if they catch it. Now if they don't catch it and allow you to enter a zealous immigration officer one day will say you committed fraud/misrepresentation at the time of entry because you knowingly entered with an automatically void ESTA and that comes with a lifetime bar to entry.

The person will be barred from admission for the rest of his or her life unless the person qualifies for and is granted a waiver.

Even if the issue of fraud/misrepresentation is overlooked, you would be viewed to have accrued unlawful presence from the day you entered because you were deportable as at the time of entry.

Heck you can actually be imprisoned (not just deported/refused entry) for attempted illegal entry.

Basically just don't do it, apply for a visitor visa and be truthful.


How would my eligibility for a travel authorization via ESTA be affected if I was previously denied a visa, previously denied an immigration benefit, or previously committed an immigration-related violation? If you were previously denied a visa, or previously refused entry to the United States, or previously removed from the U.S., your ESTA application will most likely be denied.

  • What do you mean by "if they catch it" ? Isn't this automatic (through internal programs etc...)
    – maxmax
    Aug 23, 2018 at 12:34
  • "Yes immediately" On what basis?
    – user102008
    Aug 23, 2018 at 14:34
  • "an automatically void ESTA" On what basis do you say it is "automatically void"?
    – user102008
    Aug 23, 2018 at 14:34
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    "you would be viewed to have accrued unlawful presence from the day you entered because you were deportable as at the time of entry." This is wrong. People do not accrue "unlawful presence" for being deportable. Also, I don't see any basis to say that he is deportable.
    – user102008
    Aug 23, 2018 at 14:37
  • @maxmax It is not automatic because their systems sometimes don't catch these things, sometimes the immigration officer may miss it, etc. Errors happen a lot. Aug 23, 2018 at 15:38

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